E. Jean Carroll’s friend who testified in Trump case says she ‘never thought this day


A friend of E. Jean Carroll who testified the writer called her ‘five to seven’ minutes after she was allegedly raped by Donald Trump celebrated Carroll’s victory in court in a video interview.

Appearing remotely before MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell, key witness Lisa Birnbach claimed that in the four years since she urged Carroll to come forward, the case has weighed ‘on my neck and back like no other’.

Adding she ‘never thought this day would happen’, the award-winning journalist – whose bylines can be found in both the New Yorker and The New York Timeshailed the decision handed down by federal jurors as ‘incredible.’

Earlier in the day, Birnbach took the witness stand to sensationally claim she was the one fellow writer Carroll first reached out to after the alleged encounter in 1996.

Her testimony was one of several handpicked by prosecutors in the civil trial to sway jurors into holding Trump liable for sexually abusing and later defaming the 79-year-old columnist, who at the time of the alleged assault was at the height of her career.

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Appearing remotely before MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell, key witness Lisa Birnbach celebrated E. Jean Carroll's victory in court in a video interview

Appearing remotely before MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell, key witness Lisa Birnbach celebrated E. Jean Carroll’s victory in court in a video interview

Her friend E. Jean Carroll, who accused Trump of sexually assaulting her in the changing room of a Manhattan department store in the mid 1990s, was all smiles while leaving court on Tuesday - after being awarded $5million following the federal civil case

Her friend E. Jean Carroll, who accused Trump of sexually assaulting her in the changing room of a Manhattan department store in the mid 1990s, was all smiles while leaving court on Tuesday – after being awarded $5million following the federal civil case

‘It’s incredible validation – incredible vindication,’ said Birnbach, who herself is a NYT bestselling writer, of how her and Carroll’s lengthy battle to bring the case to court culminated in a $5million payout Tuesday.

‘It’s good. I feel wonderful,’ she told O’Donnell on Tuesday. ‘It’s been a long road.’

That road, Birnbach earlier in the day revealed, actually began nearly three decades ago, when she received a frantic call from Carroll who claimed she ran into Trump at the luxury department store.

At first, the two eminent Manhattanites allegedly began to shop together, with Carroll telling Birnbach, 66, she was helping Trump shop for a female friend.

At some point, Carroll said the real estate mogul led her to a dressing room, before pinning her to a wall and penetrating her with his penis.

The phone call happened minutes after the alleged assault, and Birnbach said Tuesday that throughout, Carroll did not use use the term ‘rape’ to characterize the altercation, instead calling it a ‘fight.’

Birnbach then allegedly told Carroll to go to the police, but said the writer at the time was adamant that she did not want to report the alleged incident. 

Carroll allegedly was ‘hyperventilating’ throughout the call, Birnbach said, adding that she appeared to be ‘still processing’ what had happened.

The testimony was enough for a Manhattan jury on Tuesday to find the former liable for sexually abusing Carroll, and then defaming her in a post to social media this past October.

The jury of six men and three women took only three hours to reach their verdict, acquitting Trump – who was a no show during the two weeks of testimony and claimed Tuesday that he doesn’t even know ‘who [Carroll] is’ – of rape, but finding guilty of the other two charges. 

Speaking to O’Donnell, Birnbach hailed her friend’s legal win as a sentimental victory – while not mentioning the hefty $5million in payouts awarded to Carroll.

‘I was doing errands today not thinking there would be a verdict,’ Birnbach – the writer of the 1980 tome The Official Preppy Handbook’ – explained.

‘When I got a text from a lawyer saying verdict in 15 minutes – and I hightailed it to my lawyer’s office, and I was in a conference room with the lawyers who helped me out.’

She recalled: ‘I was terrified in the few minutes waiting for it. 

‘When I heard the first ‘no,’ I panicked and thought, ‘It wasn’t going to be favorable for E. Jean Carroll.’

‘We found out that it was. I could not be happier or prouder of my friend.’ She added that she was toasting Carroll’s victory with a glass of rosé.

Donald Trump - who was a no-show during proceedings - on Tuesday called his sexual abuse conviction 'a scam', and claimed that he did not even 'know who [Carroll] is'

Donald Trump – who was a no-show during proceedings – on Tuesday called his sexual abuse conviction ‘a scam’, and claimed that he did not even ‘know who [Carroll] is’

Earlier in the day, the jury awarded Carroll $2 million for Trump's sexual abuse, as well as $20,000 in punitive damages, as well as an additions $1 million for the October defamation, and another $1.7 million for harm to Carroll's reputation - as well as $280,000 more in damages

Earlier in the day, the jury awarded Carroll $2 million for Trump’s sexual abuse, as well as $20,000 in punitive damages, as well as an additions $1 million for the October defamation, and another $1.7 million for harm to Carroll’s reputation – as well as $280,000 more in damages

Helping to sway the jury was Birnbach, who took the witness stand to sensationally claim that she was the one fellow writer Carroll first reached out to after the alleged encounter in 1996

Helping to sway the jury was Birnbach, who took the witness stand to sensationally claim that she was the one fellow writer Carroll first reached out to after the alleged encounter in 1996

She added of how she and others were deposed over the past year by Trump’s attorneys, whom she said ‘used every trick in the book’ to hold up the proceedings.

‘It’s been a weight on my neck and back like no other,’ Birnbach said.

‘I really, really never thought it would happen. It just seemed to go on and on. 

‘But telling the truth is a very freeing and fortunate position to be in,’ she continued.

‘And being a good friend is a very fortunate and good position to be in.  So, right now, I feel very good.’

Earlier in the day, the jury awarded Carroll $2 million for Trump’s sexual abuse, as well as $20,000 in punitive damages, as well as an additions $1 million for the October defamation, and another $1.7 million for harm to Carroll’s reputation – as well as $280,000 more in punitive damages.

At the time of the alleged assault, Carroll was a Manhattan media celebrity in her own right – thanks to her advice column with Elle magazine, Ask E. Jean, and her cable TV show of the same name.

Trump asked her to help him choose a gift for a girl and after some ‘playful banter’ they went up to the sixth floor to the lingerie department.

As Carroll told it, she thought the whole thing was a ‘fun New York story’ – made all the more amusing when Trump told her to try on a see-through bodysuit. She told him to try it on, continuing the banter as he showed her into a changing room.

But then the mood suddenly became ‘dark’, Carroll told the jury.

Trump ‘shut the door and shoved me against the wall,’ Carroll said. She told the court: ‘I pushed him back, and he thrust me back against the wall, banging my head.

‘He put his shoulder against me and held me against the wall’.

Over two weeks the jury of six men and three women heard emotional testimony from three accusers and two of Carroll’s friends, among other witnesses

Carroll bowed her head as the verdict in the battery allegation was read out. As the defamation verdict was read she bowed it again, nodding in agreement

Carroll bowed her head as the verdict in the battery allegation was read out. As the defamation verdict was read she bowed it again, nodding in agreement

On Truth Social, Trump wrote Tuesday: 'Waiting for a jury decision on a False Accusation where I, despite being a current political candidate and leading all others in both parties, am not allowed to speak or defend myself'

On Truth Social, Trump wrote Tuesday: ‘Waiting for a jury decision on a False Accusation where I, despite being a current political candidate and leading all others in both parties, am not allowed to speak or defend myself’

The department store Bergdorf Goodman is only a block away from Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue in New York

The department store Bergdorf Goodman is only a block away from Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue in New York

Former Elle magazine advice columnist  Carroll watches as former U.S. president Donald Trump's video deposition is played in court during a civil rape trial in New York on May 4

Former Elle magazine advice columnist  Carroll watches as former U.S. president Donald Trump’s video deposition is played in court during a civil rape trial in New York on May 4

Carroll could not see Trump as he allegedly penetrated her but she could ‘certainly feel that pain’.

After fighting him off, she ran outside and called a friend, Lisa Birnbach, a journalist, who told her to go to the police.

FULL STATEMENT FROM TRUMP CAMPAIGN  

‘The Democratic Party’s never-ending witch-hunt of President Trump hit a new low today. In jurisdictions wholly controlled by the Democratic Party our nation’s justice system is now compromised by extremist left-wing politics. We have allowed false and totally made-up claims from troubled individuals to interfere with our elections, doing great damage.

Make no mistake, this entire bogus case is a political endeavor targeting President Trump because he is now an overwhelming front-runner to be once again elected President of the United States.

The continued abuse of our great Constitution for political ends is disgusting and cannot be tolerated. Our nation is in serious trouble when claims lacking any evidence or proof or eyewitnesses can invade our courts to score political points.

Sadly, for the enemies of American freedom and democracy, President Trump will never stop fighting for the American people, no matter what the radical Democrats dream up next. This case will be appealed, and we will ultimately win.’

Carroll also spoke to Carol Martin, the former TV anchor, who told her to keep quiet as Trump would ‘bury her’.

She did exactly that for 20 years until 2019 when he had become President and she wrote a memoir publicly accusing him for the first time.

Carroll claims that Trump set out to ‘destroy’ her, calling her a liar and saying her allegations were a ‘hoax’.

She endured a deluge of hate mail and tweets and allegedly lost her job with Elle because her readers couldn’t trust her any more.

Under cross examination from Trump’s lawyer Joe Tacopina, Carroll became emotional when asked repeatedly why she didn’t scream.

‘Mr Tacopina,’ Carroll said, ‘I was born in 1943. I am a member of the silent generation. Women like me were taught and trained to keep our chins up and to not complain.

‘The fact that I never went to the police is not surprising for someone my age. We were not ever trained to call the police, ever. I would rather have done anything than call the police’.

When Tacopina repeatedly asked why Carroll didn’t scream, she fired back: ‘You can’t beat up on me for not screaming’.

Carroll cried and uttered one of the most memorable lines of the trial: ‘I’m telling you, he raped me, whether I screamed or not!’

Judge Kaplan allowed other accusers to give evidence in what Carroll hoped proved a pattern of behavior.

Tacopina told jurors that Carroll invented her claims after hearing about a 2012 ‘Law and Order’ episode in which a woman is raped in the dressing room of the lingerie section of a Bergdorf Goodman store.

Carroll ‘cannot produce any objective evidence to back up her claim because it didn’t happen,’ he told jurors. 

He accused her of ‘advancing a false claim of rape for money, for political reasons and for status.’

'In New York, you can't get a fair trial,' said Trump lawyer Joe Tacopina

‘In New York, you can’t get a fair trial,’ said Trump lawyer Joe Tacopina

In questioning Carroll, he sought to cast doubt on her description of fighting off the far heavier Trump without dropping her handbag or ripping her tights, and without anyone around to hear or see them in the lingerie section.

The lawyer pressed her about – by her own account – not screaming, looking for help while fleeing the store or seeking out medical attention, security video or police.

Carroll reproached him.

‘I’m telling you he raped me, whether I screamed or not,’ she said.

There is no possibility of Trump being charged with attacking Carroll, as the legal time limit has long since passed.

For similar reasons, she initially filed her civil case as a defamation lawsuit, saying Trump’s derogatory denials had subjected her to hatred, shredded her reputation and harmed her career.

Last fall New York state gave people a chance to sue over sexual assault allegations that would otherwise be too old. Carroll was one of the first to file.



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